RTAs and South Asia: Options in the Wake of Cancun Fiasco Mehta, Pradeep S; Kumar, Pranav

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Mehta, Pradeep S ; Kumar, Pranav
cancun; rtas; South Asia
The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to systematically address the situation in general and with emphasis on South Asia if the failed trade talks at Cancun throw weight behind the formation of more and more bilateral and regional trade treaties. Should they make a renewed effort to kick-start SAPTA? Should they look eastward and try to cooperate more with ASEAN and other East Asian economies? Should they further deepen trading relations with their traditional partners the EU and US? This paper contains six sections (including introduction). Section II provides a quick recap of the series of events, which resulted in Cancun debacle. Section III takes into account the proliferation of RTAs over the last two decades, change in US approach towards regionalism, further deepening and widening of EU and formation of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Section IV in very brief follows the development since the Cancun collapse, the US efforts to follow bilateral path in FTAA negotiations and Indias Look East policy. Section V analyses the reasons behind low intra-regional trade. Section VI makes a comparison of intra-SAARC trade with other Southern RTAs, Finally the paper ends with looking into the possible options for South Asia in the post-Cancun scenario.
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